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Children’s Sermons about Samuel and David
Samuel, Eli, Saul, David, and Abigail are some of the most intriguing people in the Old Testament. The stories God shares with us about them teach us multiple lessons. Here are the few that I’ve chosen to pull out for this collection of children’s sermons:
Giving Back to God – what kids can give to God
A Parent’s Responsibility – listening to our parents because God has trusted them to teach us
Hearing God Speak – God is speaking, but we have to listen for Him
Manipulating God – God answers our prayers of His own free will
God’s Practical Joke – God lets Israel have a merely human king…for a while
Looks Can Be Deceiving – God looks at our hearts
One Stone – God doesn’t need to do big miracles to help us; little things will do
Love Your Enemies Like David Did – loving our enemies and leaving the rest to God
Ministering to One Another – different ways we can help others feel better
The Witch of Endor – the power of God vs. human tricks and demonic activity
Uzzah’s Mistake – listening to God closely
Covering Our Sins – we can’t cover up our sins, but God can cover them
These children’s sermons go great with a Sunday School, Jr. Church, or evening kids’ program curriculum focusing on Samuel and David to reinforce kids’ understanding of the stories.
You don’t need anything extra to use the lessons. I will, however, provide some suggestions you might find helpful. You can use these resources in addition to or instead of the ideas I’ve provided.
- The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – for telling the stories with beautiful artwork and Biblical accuracy
- The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Stories for Children – for telling the stories to younger children
Use this children’s sermon about Hannah and the birth of Samuel to teach kids how to give to God.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 1
Needed: an offering plate
Children’s Sermon: Greet children and show them an offering plate. Say, We do some strange things as Christians. One thing we do is collect an offering. Every week, we give some of our money back to God. Why do you think we do that? (Answers could include to help people, to pay for the church, to pay the staff, to send to missionaries, etc.)
One reason we give part of our money back to God is that we believe it all belongs to Him anyway. God made the world, so everything in the world belongs to Him. Our money belongs to God. We’re just borrowing it and using it for a little while.
People go to work to earn money, but God gave us the ability to go to work. He made us smart enough and hard-working enough to go earn money. So, the money still belongs to God. We give it back to Him as our way of thanking Him for letting us use it and to show that we know that it’s still His.
In the Bible, a woman thanked God by giving something back to Him. This woman’s name was Hannah. Unfortunately, Hannah couldn’t have children. She was very sad that she couldn’t have children, so she prayed to God and promised that if God would give her a child, she would give that child back to God.
The next year, God gave Hannah a son! She named him Samuel. But Hannah didn’t forget the promise she made to God. When Samuel was old enough, she gave him back to God. She took him to the priest and said…
(Read 1 Samuel 1:27-28.)
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
Hannah left Samuel at the Tabernacle with the priest. She visited Samuel, but she left him at the Tabernacle so that he could serve God.
Now, if Hannah could give her son back to God to thank Him, what can you give back to God?
One idea is that if you don’t have money, you can give some of your time back to God. God gives you all the time you have, so to thank Him, you can use some of that time to read your Bible or pray or do nice things to serve other people.
Closing Prayer: Lord, You made everything and everything we have comes from You. Help us to think of ways to thank You by giving You back part of what You give us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about God’s warning to Eli the priest to show kids the responsibility God has given to parents.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:12-3:21
Needed: a paddle
Children’s Sermon: Show children your paddle and ask, Do any of you know what this is? It’s a paddle! Some parents use it to spank their children’s bottoms when they misbehave.
(If your parents paddled you, tell a light-hearted story about it.)
Why do you think parents would paddle their children? Don’t parents love their children?
Parents love their children, and that’s why they paddle them or punish them in some way. When your parents punish you, it’s because they’re trying to show you how God wants you to live. It’s their responsibility. And if they don’t punish you when you do something wrong, they’ll get in trouble by God.
In the Bible, the priest Eli had two sons who were very wicked and Eli didn’t try very hard to punish them. So, do you know what God did? He punished the two wicked sons, but He also punished their father Eli for not making his sons do what was right.
(Read 1 Samuel 3:13.)
“I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.”
So, when your parents punish you, remember that they’re doing what God told them to do. They’re helping you learn how to do what’s right so that God will be happy with you and with them.
Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for giving us our parents. We thank You that they teach us and guide us and punish us to show us what is right. Help us to listen to them and respect them. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about God calling Samuel to teach kids to listen for God’s voice in their own lives.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3
Needed: a pair of headphones
Children’s Sermon: Show children your headphones and ask, Why do people use headphones?
One reason people use headphones is to hear something better. If it’s noisy around you, you can put your headphones in and hear what you’re listening to.
That’s kind of what we need to do if we want to hear God speaking to us.
In the Bible, there was a little boy named Samuel. He lived at the Tabernacle serving Eli the priest. One night, God called to Samuel. “Samuel,” God said. But Samuel didn’t know it was God calling him. He thought it was the priest, Eli. So, he got up and went to Eli’s room.
But Eli said he didn’t call him, so he sent Samuel back to bed. God called Samuel two more times, and Samuel kept thinking it was Eli calling him. Finally, Eli figured out that God was calling Samuel. He told Samuel that the next time God called him, Samuel should say…
(Read 1 Samuel 3:9.)
“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”
God did call Samuel again and when Samuel said, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening,” God talked to him! In fact, God talked to Samuel a lot after that. But he had to learn to listen to God’s voice first.
It’s the same in our lives. If we want God to speak to us, we have to listen for Him. We might not hear a voice as Samuel did, but we’ll hear God speaking in our minds and in our hearts.
What do you think are some ways we can listen for God’s voice?
We can read the Bible and pray and pay attention in church. God speaks to us through all of those things. And when we read the Bible or pray or pay attention in church, it’s like we’re putting our headphones in to listen to God.
Closing Prayer: Lord, we want to hear from You. We want to hear You speaking to our hearts and minds. Help us to listen for and pay attention to You. Speak, Lord, for Your servants are listening. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about the capture of the Ark of the Covenant to show kids that we can’t control God.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 4:2-11
Needed: a picture of the Ark of the Covenant
Children’s Sermon: Ask children, How do you get God to do something for you?
Let’s pretend that you want God to do something for you, and you pray about it, will God always do what you want?
What if you want something, and you’re really good? Will God always give you what you want then?
What if you make a deal with God? What if you say, “God if You do this for me, I’ll do something for you?” Do you think God would always do what you want if you make a deal with Him?
There’s a story in the Bible about how the Israelites wanted to make God do something for them. The Israelite army was at war with the Philistines, another group of people. And the Israelites were losing. But then, they had an idea. They thought that if they brought the Ark of the Covenant (show your picture of the Ark) out to the battlefield, that would make God fight for them so that they could defeat the Philistines.
(Read 1 Samuel 4:3.)
“Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that He may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
What was the Ark of the Covenant?
The Ark was a special chest that stayed in the Tabernacle. Inside it was the Ten Commandments, some manna that God gave the Israelites to eat when they were in the desert, and the staff of the first priest that God made grow flowers even though it was just a dead stick. But, most importantly, God’s Presence rested on the top of the Ark.
So, the Israelites brought the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield to make God fight for them. Do you think it worked? Do you think God fought for the Israelites?
God did not fight for the Israelites. In fact, He let the Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant. He eventually made the Philistines give the Ark back to the Israelites, but He didn’t fight for them that day. He was teaching the Israelites a lesson. He was showing them that we, as humans, can’t make God do anything.
He wouldn’t fight for the Israelites just because they brought out the Ark. And He won’t do things for us just because we pray or be good or try to make a deal with Him. If God wants to do something, He’ll do it. If He doesn’t want to do something, He won’t. We can’t make God do anything. God is the one who is in control of us. We’re not in control of God.
Closing Prayer: Lord, You are God. We can’t make You do anything. Help us to respect You and to remember how powerful You are. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about how Israel chose their first king, and how God is the true King.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8
Needed: two King playing cards, one of which should be the King of Hearts
Children’s Sermon: Show kids your first King playing card (not the King of Hearts). Ask, What does a king do?
Most countries don’t have kings anymore, but almost all of them used to. A good king made rules for the people, took care of them, and commanded the army to protect the country.
But, at first, Israel didn’t have a king. They had leaders like Moses and Joshua and the Judges and Samuel. But they didn’t need a king. Do you know why Israel didn’t need a king?
It was because God was their King! God made the rules. God took care of the people. And when another group of people came to attack Israel, God helped the Israelites defeat their enemies.
But then, the Israelites decided that they wanted their country to be like all the other countries. They said they wanted a human king.
How do you think God felt when the people asked for a human king?
(Read 1 Samuel 8:7.)
“…they have rejected Me as their King.”
And God warned them that a human king wouldn’t be as good as He was. Human kings would sometimes do bad things and fail to take of the people as they should. But when the people still said that they wanted a human king, God gave them one.
But God had a trick.
He let the Israelites have a human king for many years. But then, He sent His own King.
(Show the King of Hearts.)
Jesus was a very special person for two reasons. The first is that He was a descendant of the kings of Israel. That means that Jesus was the rightful King.
But the second reason is that Jesus was also God. Jesus is God in a human body. So, if Jesus was the rightful King, and Jesus was God, that makes God the King again.
But God isn’t the King of Israel only. God made the whole world, and that means He’s the King of everything. He’s our King. Even if we have other human leaders too, we always have to listen to God first.
God tells us His rules in the Bible and He takes care of us, and He helps us fight against the devil when the devil tries to tempt us to do something bad. God is our King, and we have to serve Him as our god and rightful ruler.
Closing Prayer: Lord, You are the King. You are the King of everything, and You’re the King of us. Help us to respect and serve You all the days of our life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about David to teach children that God looks at our hearts, not our appearance.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16
Needed: an empty cookie package and a trashcan with a clean liner with cookies inside it
Children’s Sermon: Empty a package of cookies into a trashcan with a clean liner and put it out of sight. Keep the empty package (one that kids can’t see through) and offer it to kids as they come up for the Children’s Moment.
Say, Good morning! Who would like a cookie to start our time together today?
(Give one of the children the package. When they realize there’s nothing in it, continue.)
You thought there were cookies in there, didn’t you? It looked like there were cookies in the package, but there weren’t.
How about this, then? (Pull out the trashcan.) Since there weren’t any cookies in the package, I’ll give you anything you find in this trashcan.
(Give kids the trashcan and let them discover the cookies inside.)
The trashcan looked like there would be only gross things inside, but it had good cookies!
The empty cookie package and the trashcan show us that sometimes, things are different than they look.
In the Bible, God told the prophet Samuel to choose a new king for the people of Israel. God told Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and make one of his sons king. So, Samuel went to Jesse’s house and saw Jesse’s oldest son. He was big and strong and handsome. He looked like he would be a great king. So, Samuel thought that this must be the man God wanted him to make the next king.
But God said no. God said…
(Read 1 Samuel 16:7.)
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
The story ends with God choosing David, the youngest son, as the next king of Israel. David wasn’t handsome or big or strong. He wasn’t anything special on the outside. But He loved God, and that made Him special to God on the inside.
So, remember, just because something looks good on the outside, like this empty cookie package or a big, strong, handsome man, they might not be good on the inside. And just because something doesn’t look good on the outside like this trashcan or David who wasn’t big and strong and handsome, doesn’t mean they’re not good on the inside.
God doesn’t look at what’s on the outside. He looks at what’s on the inside. And we want God to see that we’re good on the inside, don’t we?
Closing Prayer: Father God, You said that You judge our hearts, not how we look. So, we pray that You’ll help us to have hearts that love You as David did. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Different Containers, Same Content – a free object lesson focusing on how the Lord judges our hearts, not how we look
Use this children’s sermon about David and Goliath to teach kids how powerful God is to help us.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17
Needed: a stone
Children’s Sermon: Toss a stone in your hands as kids come up, or roll it in your hand like a die. One of the kids will probably ask you what you have or what you’re doing. When one of the students does ask, hand it to them. If none of them ask, hand the stone one of them randomly.
Ask, Do you know that is?
It’s one of God’s tools.
We read in the Bible about a boy named David and a huge man named Goliath. Goliath was a Philistine warrior who kept challenging the men of Israel’s army to come to fight him. But because he was so big – over nine feet tall – none of the Israelites would do it. Everyone was too afraid.
Until a young man named David had enough faith that God would help him defeat the huge man. Of course, David wasn’t a warrior. He wasn’t used to wearing armor or swinging a sword. So, instead, he went to the stream and found five stones. He was going to use those stones in his sling to swing them at Goliath.
But David didn’t need five stones. He only needed one. Goliath started coming toward David with his sword, saying that he was going to kill David and let the wild animals eat his body.
(Read 1 Samuel 17:48-49.)
“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”
The stone hit Goliath in the forehead, and the huge man fell down. God had helped David defeat Goliath with only one stone.
Now, I hope that none of us will ever be in a battle, but we might have other problems in our lives. And if God can help David defeat Goliath with only a single stone, think of the ways He can help you with your problems.
God doesn’t always need to do big miracles to help us. Sometimes, He can use something little, like a stone.
Closing Prayer: God, You are awesome. You can do anything. You can even help David beat a huge warrior with only one stone. Help us to trust You to help us too, no matter what problem we’re having. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Five Smooth Stones – a free object lesson showing kids five qualities that will enable us to overcome any difficulty in our lives
Use this children’s sermon about David and King Saul to teach kids how we should treat our enemies.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 24
Needed: a torn piece of cloth
Children’s Sermon: Hold a torn piece of cloth in your hand as you speak. Ask children, Has anyone ever been mean to you?
Do you ever feel like getting back at someone when they do something to you? Like if they hit you, you want to them back? Or if they call you a name, you want to call them a name back?
We all feel like that sometimes. But it’s interesting what David did when King Saul was trying to kill him.
King Saul was the first king of Israel. He was a good king for a while, but then, he started disobeying God. So, God chose someone else to be king. He chose David. David was going to be king after Saul died.
And David started becoming more and more popular. He was a great warrior, and all the people loved him. Of course, that made King Saul jealous. The people liked David more than they liked him, so he went out with his army to try to kill David.
One time, King Saul and his army almost caught David. They were very close. David and the men following him were hiding in a cave. King Saul went into the cave to go to the bathroom.
While King Saul was going to the bathroom, David snuck up behind him and cut off a piece of his clothes. King Saul didn’t even notice! Some of David’s followers told David that he should kill Saul because Saul was trying to kill him. But David wouldn’t do it.
David let King Saul leave the cave. After King Saul walked out of the cave, David followed him. He shouted to King Saul’s attention. Then, he showed him the piece of cloth he had cut off of King Saul’s clothes.
Saul knew that David could have killed him, but David said…
(Read 1 Samuel 24:12.)
“May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.”
David was saying that he wouldn’t hurt Saul. Instead, he would let God punish Saul.
And that’s what God wants all of us to do too. When someone does something wrong to us, God doesn’t want us to hurt them back. He wants us to leave it up to Him. God will take care of it.
Closing Prayer: Father, we know that You are the good and wise king. You can punish people when they need to be punished, and you can forgive people when they need to be forgiven. Help us not to hurt people when they hurt us but to leave it up to You to deal with. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about David and Abigail to teach kids how to minister to others.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:14-23; 25
Needed: a musical instrument and a loaf of bread
Children’s Sermon: Set out a musical instrument and a loaf of bread in plain view. Ask, what can you do help someone feel better when they’re in a bad mood? (Listen and comment on answers. Then, pick up the musical instrument.)
In the Bible, King Saul had times where he didn’t feel very good. His body was okay, but his spirit wasn’t. He would get angry and upset. One thing that helped him feel better was when David played music for him. David played music to help Saul get out of his bad mood.
Later, David was in a bad mood. He was out with his soldiers, and they were very hungry. They asked a rich man named Nabal for some food, but the rich man wouldn’t give them anything. David got so angry that he was going to kill the rich man.
But then, the rich man’s wife, Abigail, made David feel better when she brought him and his men some food. She asked David not to kill Nabal for being so mean.
(Read 1 Samuel 25:35.)
“Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, ‘Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.’”
David made Saul feel better when he was upset, and Abigail made David feel better when he was upset, just like we should help other people feel better when they’re upset.
Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for the examples of David and Abigail. Help us to do what we can to help other people when they feel angry or sad. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about the witch of Endor and Samuel’s spirit coming back from the grave to teach kids about what happens when we die.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 28
Children’s Sermon: Ask children, What happens when a person dies?
(Show your picture of a ghost.) Do people ever come back as ghosts?
(Show your picture of a magic scroll.) Can somebody make a person come back from the dead – maybe with a magic spell?
As Christians, we don’t believe that people can do real magic. People can do fun tricks to make it look like they’re doing magic, but they can’t do real magic. They can’t use magical powers.
Do you know who does have powers like that? The only Person who has powers like that is God. God can do miracles, but regular people can’t. The Devil and his demons are spirits. so they can do some things that humans can’t, but they still don’t have as much power as God. The angels don’t have as much power as God. Only God has the power to do real miracles.
And one time, God did do a miracle of letting someone’s spirit come back from the dead like a ghost. It happened in the days of King Saul.
King Saul was worried about the Philistines who were coming to attack the kingdom of Israel. He wanted to know what he should do, but the prophet Samuel had already died. So, what could he do to talk to Samuel again?
Saul went to see a witch. Now, remember that witches don’t have any real power. They’re either tricking people or the Devil, and his demons are doing things that make the witch look like she’s doing magic even though she’s not.
But Saul went to see this witch, and he asked her to bring Samuel’s spirit back from the grave so that he could talk to him.
And, sure enough, Samuel’s spirit came back! But it wasn’t because the witch made Samuel’s spirit come back. It was because God made Samuel’s spirit come back. And do you know that Samuel didn’t tell Saul what do about the Philistines?
He simply said that because Saul wasn’t doing what was right that God wasn’t going to help him. In fact, he said that God was going to use the Philistines to defeat him because he wasn’t doing what God wanted.
Now, remember, as Christians, we believe that when a person dies, their spirit goes to Heaven or it goes to Hell. It goes to Heaven to be with God if they believe in Jesus and it goes to Hell – away from God – if they don’t believe in Jesus.
And no one has the power to bring that person’s spirit back except for God. Ghosts don’t come back on their own, and people can’t use magic to bring people back. Only God can do that.
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the God of life and the God of death. You have the power over all of our spirits. Help us not to be tricked by people who say they can do magic or by the Devil and demons who try to make themselves look more powerful than they are. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about Uzzah touching the Ark of the Covenant to teach kids that we need to listen to God exactly.
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 13:1-11
Children’s Sermon: Tell kids a close-listening riddle. An example is, “Pete’s mother had three children. One was named Oliver. One was named Penelope. What was the third child’s name?”
If no of the students get the answer, repeat the question, emphasizing the first words. When one of the students does get the answer, ask, How did you know the right answer? (They’ll explain that they heard you say it.)
Right. You were listening closely to what I said, so you knew the right answer.
There was once a man who didn’t listen very closely and so, he got the wrong answer.
What happened was that King David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the city where he lived. What was the Ark of the Covenant?
(Show your picture of the Ark.) The Ark was a special chest that stayed in the Tabernacle. Inside it was the Ten Commandments, some manna that God gave the Israelites to eat when they were in the desert, and the staff of the first priest that God made grow flowers even though it was just a dead stick. But, most importantly, God’s Presence rested on the top of the Ark.
Because the Ark was so special, so holy, God said that no one was allowed to touch the Ark itself. The only way to move it was to carry it by its poles.
So, the priests picked the Ark up by the poles and put it on a wagon. Two animals called oxen were pulling the wagon to Jerusalem, the city where King David lived. But on the way, one of the oxen started to fall down, and the Ark almost fell out of the wagon.
One of the priests, a man named Uzzah, reached back to catch the Ark. He touched the Ark with his hand. Was he allowed to touch the Ark with his hand?
What was God’s rule about touching the Ark of the Covenant?
God said that no one was allowed to touch it. You could only touch the poles. But Uzzah did touch the Ark. And the Bible tells us…
(Read 1 Chronicles 13:11.)
“The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.”
What do you think would have happened if the Ark was falling and no one was allowed to touch it? Do you think the Ark would have fallen?
God told no one else to touch the Ark, right? But could God touch it?
God could have caught the Ark and kept it from falling. He didn’t need Uzzah to catch it. So, Uzzah should have listened more closely to God’s rule so that he wouldn’t have touched the Ark.
And we have to listen to God’s rules closely too, just like you listened to my riddle closely. We need to read our Bible and pay attention in church so that we learn what God’s rules and listen to them closely. Then, God will be happy with us and won’t have to punish us like He did Uzzah.
Closing Prayer: Lord, we know that Your rules are good. Help us to listen to learn Your rules and listen to them closely our whole life so that we can be faithful followers of You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Use this children’s sermon about David and Bathsheba to teach children about confession, repentance, and forgiveness.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 11-12
Needed: a beach towel or blanket
Children’s Sermon: Ask children, what should you do when you do something wrong?
King David did something very wrong one time. It doesn’t matter exactly what it was right now. Just know that he did something wrong and then, he had to figure out what to do about it.
He knew that he was going to get into trouble. (Pretend as if you’re covering something up with your blanket or towel as you say this.) So, he tried to cover it up. He lied about it. He tried to trick people. He even had someone killed so that no one would find out what he did.
(Point at the towel or blanket.) But God still knew what happened. God could see right through David’s cover-up, and God punished Him for it. (Pick up the towel or blanket.)
The thing is that David should have covered his sin, just not the way He did it. Instead of doing more wrong things to cover his sin, he only needed to do one right thing. It’s the same thing we all need to do when we sin against God.
When we sin, all we need to do is ask God to forgive us. Then, God’s forgiveness (Pretend to cover something up again.) covers our sin. As Christians, we believe that Jesus’ blood covers our sin so that we can be forgiven for whatever we did.
Instead of trying to cover up our sin as David did, we need to ask God to forgive us so that He can cover it.
Closing Prayer: Lord, we thank You that You are always ready to forgive us. Help us not to hide or cover up our sin but confess it to You and ask You to cover it with Your forgiveness. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Find more short devotionals on my Free Children's Sermons page!
Find more short devotionals on my Free Children's Sermons page!